Famed chefs from #2 World’s Best Restaurant to have a pop-up at National Gallery's restaurant Art

Celebrity chef couple Virgilio Martínez and Pía León brings the flavours of Peru to Singapore in their three-month residency

Dawson Tan
Written by
Dawson Tan
Food & Drink Writer
Chefs Virgilio Martínez and Pía León
Photograph: Gustavo Vivanco Leon

After two sold-out culinary residencies headlined by chefs Mauro Colagreco (Mirazur) and Gaggan Anand, Mandala Masters’ third residency brings a slice of Latin America to the shores of Singapore. It's a culinary super couple who's behind Lima's fine-dining restaurant Central – Virgilio Martínez, world-renowned Peruvian chef and restaurateur, and Pía León, World’s Best Female Chef. And together, Central has successfully climbed to the ranks as the No.2 World's Best Restaurant. The three-month residency will be held at Art at National Gallery Singapore as the first venture out of the Mandala Club.

Mil by Virgilio Martinez
Photograph: Gustavo Vivanco

Happening from August 5 till October 30 (Tuesdays to Sundays only), Meters Above Sea Level (MASL) is set to take gastronomes on a journey through Peru: vast biodiverse landscapes and ecosystems, indigenous cultures, ingredients and flavours. Presented in strikingly beautiful culinary creations, the multi-course tasting menus showcase ingredients from altitudes ranging from -10 masl to 3,850 masl – an ode to the menu in Central.

“To us, meters above sea level refers to the way we connect with the environment in Peru. Bisected by a major mountain range, Peru’s unique geography requires us to look at the world vertically in order to access the origin of thousands of our ingredients,” as Martínez describes.

Think of Peru as a treasure trove that boasts over 5,000 types of potatoes, 3,000 corn varietals, and lesser-known produce such as the black mint (huacatay) and Andean mushrooms. “The idea of going up and down helps us look attentively where products originate and from whose hands. Only then can we use this knowledge in a way that educates and surprises our guests,” Martínez adds.

Mundo Mater by Central
Photograph: Central

Aside from the headlining 11-course dinner degustation menu ($448), MASL also offers up an eight-course lunch menu ($320). Latin American-inspired cocktail pairings (from $169) crafted by Peruvian Head Bartender Alonso Palomino complements both sessions. “People are looking for experiences that surprise but also transcend. An interesting culinary experience should be new but also complete, multifaceted and presented with the elements to make the story behind it cohesive and meaningful,” as León shares.

This precedent is also the first collaborative project by the highly decorated Peruvian couple outside of Peru. Singapore, you're definitely in for a treat.

Book here.

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